smart spending

8 essential things to know about layaway

Down payments or deposits are common
Down payments or deposits are possible | Corepics VOF/Shutterstock.com

Down payments or deposits are common

Most retailers require a down payment, says Butler. While some stores may set a minimum, others will let you select the amount, he says.

In addition, some retailers levy a nonrefundable fee for setting up layaway.

Consumers will also need to share some data -- usually the same information you'd share to write a check: photo ID, name, address and phone number, says Hutt.

The retailer shouldn't need your Social Security number, credit card number (unless that's how you're paying), bank information, income or employment information, she says.

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